Aug 12, 2013

MMMM # 397 -- On Reporting

    Longevity is not a strong suit with many reporters, especially broadcast reporters.

     They begin a reporting job and stay for...a year...or two...and then move on, barely having learned how to pronounce local names.
     A reporter for The Selma Times-Journal wrote a column Friday about people asking her "when she would be leaving" in the first weeks she started working.
     She writes about how wrong they were! She told them would be staying around, and proved them wrong by staying...for one year. 
     Uh, I think that's what they had in mind when they said she would be gone "soon". Selma was founded in 1820, and her resident have long memories.
    Part of the problem is the urge to move to bigger and better and greener pastures. I understand the desire to increase salary and influence and the size of potential audience. But it takes time to learn enough to do more than surface reporting in a city. 
    More than a year.


     A critical court case involving the right of reporters to refuse to name a source is getting precious little coverage by the very media at risk.
     It involves N.Y. Times reporter James Risen, but the best story I could find about it on Sunday was in a British paper.
     The Washington Post mentioned it in a blog, calling a "juicy" trial. Indeed. If a reporter can be ordered by a court to reveal his or her confidential source, kiss a lot of investigative reporting goodbye.  
     And that's something only a government or a politician should cheer.

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a regular feature of]

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